Chief Executive Newsletter Updates

The Farmers Club Newsletter – No. 35 – October 2020


COVID Alert Status

As sure as the seasons turn, another set of Government guidelines was introduced this week as several areas around the country were placed in various COVID Alert Tiers, effective from midnight tonight.  The impact on the Club was that London was placed in Tier 2.  This does not preclude members from visiting/travelling to London, and they can still book rooms and make use of the Restaurant, but they can only take advantage of these if the person or group is from the same household or within an existing support bubble (1 person living alone who can join another family up to 6 people).  Members cannot socialise with anyone in the Club not in one of these categories pertaining to them.   
Additionally, Tier 2 restrictions allow group sizes of any number when they are meeting or gathering for work and/or training purposes (not social events), but the places that hold these meetings should be set up to meet the COVID-secure guidelines (which our meeting rooms do).  If any members are unsure of the conditions that pertain to their potential visit, please contact either myself, Virginia, Jelle, Marlene or Liza.  It is probable that more detail will emerge over the coming days, as seems consistent with previous statements.  If and when this occurs, I will provide members with more details.  Member guidelines whilst in the Club, under these conditions, have been updated (now with updates in green) and can be seen here.
This week marked a welcome return to the Club of Anne Haworth, our resident art historian, who gave a fascinating talk on the current Titian Exhibition at the National Gallery.  Members enjoyed lunch before listening to Anne’s talk before walking over to the gallery to see the exhibition.  Despite the current restrictions, members reported a very orderly entrance to the ‘National’ secured via timed entrance arrangements and the enjoyment of the talk, lunch and then completing the day with dinner back at the Club.  A tremendous day was had by all!

Unfortunately, owing to London being placed in COVID Alert Tier 2, it has been necessary to postpone the “Knowledge Exchange Programme” that we were due to commence next week, and for the subsequent 3 weeks following that. This is because of the new restrictions imposed by Tier 2 and the fact that reviews of the Tier status are only conducted every 4 weeks. Members who had booked places on these events will be contacted by Anita separately. We will look to re-schedule this programme as soon as we can and when the Alert tier status allows.

I would like to emphasise that our current intentions to go to the theatre (The play that goes wrong) and to visit Kew Gardens for their winter light spectacular, remain unaffected at this moment in time as much could have changed by the time these events are planned. If there are any changes to this, we will of course inform members, as these events have had good take-up.

We are also including a further event outside the 4 week review period, which we are running slightly differently taking into account what we can and can’t do in the Club within the current conditions (Tier 2).


Following the delayed publication of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, I am delighted to announce that the following Club members were recognised:


               Mr Robin Apps                                 Kent
               Mr Charles Smith                             Leicestershire


In light of the change in COVID rules regarding the use of the Club during the next couple of months and following many requests from members, the usual dress code within the Club will be relaxed for the remainder of the year.  This does mean that members can now come to the club and dress in smart casual clothing if they wish, and affords them an extra dimension of relaxation when in the Club and easier to travel with the minimum of clothing for their stay.


The Finance and General Purposes Committee met via Zoom yesterday to consider the proposals for the Budget in 2021.  This has been a very difficult task to achieve with any sense of certainty as we look ahead to an uncertain medium term in every sense, not least economically.  The Committee members closely scrutinised the budget we had prepared and proposed by the Honorary Treasurer, and wished for a couple of adjustments to be made prior to the budget going before the General Committee in early November and hopefully adopting what is being proposed.  Whatever happens next year, it is going to be a challenging year – just like this one!

I hope that all members are safe and well at this time, and that those who are being subjected to the higher COVID Alert Tiers are managing to cope in a business, personal and professional sense. I think we are all hoping for some relief from what seems an incessant stream of regulation, law and sometimes difficult to understand, cross-cutting directives. If and when you feel able to travel the team and I look forward to welcoming you to the Club.

Andrei Spence